My mom does not work Monday or Fridays. And Fridays she runs errands. Today, she also loaded me up in the suburban with her traditional trusty, maroon cooler and ice-packs made from two liter bottles that keep the cold stuff cold, all day long. As the side-kick, I joined in on the running around town, shopping for groceries, returning car parts Friday afternoon.
Nothing out of the ordinary for this mom, though. Her tiny, scribbled hand-writing splattered all over the purple and flowered stick note for Wal-mart and Kroger. Down Chatsworth Hwy that turns into Walnut Ave. after the Bypass. To Advance first. Then Sally's. Then the infamous Wal-Mart.
I can't say that Dalton is so big it needs two Wal-Marts BUT Dalton is evidently so big it needs two Wal-Marts. Mom got a buggy that pulled to the left. Reminded me of when I lived in Atlanta. A friend of mine and I would always go to Wal-Mart together and we ALWAYS get the wrong buggy on second, third and fourth pick. One time, we made another guy pick a buggy for us. He somehow had the magic touch. But didn't understand our humor. His loss.
It isn't the grocery list that gets you, though-- but the things you brainstorm while walking into Wal-Mart. Finger nail polish. A foot stone. A new cover up for the upcoming beach trip.
We picked red polish and the $.97 stone. Heading toward dresses, we passed this older gentlemen who would not stop starring at me. He then continued with his black-pitted gazing and he pointed at me:
"Is that your mother?"
My mom and I looked at each other. I looked at him. Never without stopping we starting laughing while dodging in and out of clothes racks. Turning to see if this short, man creeper was pursing.
We still can't figure out his angle-- did he want me or my mother? Who he thought looked like my sister and not my mother, perhaps?
Out of Wal-Mart and into the sun, we headed down E Morris to the Post Office. Then to downtown to the Green Spot. Then back down Glenwood to another auto parts place. After, American Legion. And then to Kroger. Quite possibly my favorite place. Now. When I was a kid.
Every aisle in a grocery store has food: Black, refried, navy, kidney, lentil, garbanzo and pinto, and green beans. Doritos, Sun Chips, Lays-- in ranch, cheddar, original, salt and vinegar-- and my favorite, Kettle Corn.
But just like the food options there are people options. The woman in black pants with a green floral shirt, short hair and silver earrings. Her most notable feature: the snot coming out of her nose. The arrogant whiff that blew from her flowered shirt smelled nothing like perfume, and more like old beans.
Down in the dairy, there was the Mayfield man. In his white shirt and brown pants, he perfectly replicated a brown cow. The ice cream bar, that is. He replenished more than Mayfield. Sweet tea by the gallon, yogurt, sour cream, cottage cheese.
Pushing the buggy, my mind faded as I watched my mom select cheese. The expiration dates between pepper jack and cheddar. Shredded or slice. Walking in my black flip-flops I felt like a mom out doing all the errands. I felt like my mom. And I was in her shoes.